Expect the Unexpected

Just like Morgan, you’ll “figure it out.”

Posted by Morgan

expect the

Before coming to Georgia Tech-Lorraine, I was fortunate enough to have traveled a lot. I traveled across the US; I traveled outside of the country; I traveled without my parents. In short, I wasn’t expecting that the GTL experience would be that hard, taxing, or new- just exciting. I was prepared. I was prepared for the travel, and my first year at Tech had prepared me for the classes. And yet somehow, after ten weeks in France, I am leaving with the realization that I wasn’t all that prepared. But that’s the thing about the GTL program. Nothing can really prepare you for the experiences, the experiences of unmatched fun, the experiences of studying till the wee hours of the night, the experiences of being so incredibly out of your comfort zone.

If only something had prepared me for my interesting adventure through Paris. My friend and I had reserved an apartment through airbnb, a familiar and trustworthy site, but I was excited that I had searched through all the places on my own and found the perfect place–no help–no guidance–just me. When we arrived at the airbnb, I was told the maid was going to bring me a key. I waited an hour until two men in a car pulled up and started speaking to me in French, and they wouldn’t leave (a sketchy situation to say the least). They kept pointing at their ignition key, but they did not look like the maid, Maimona, and they did not speak English, so I kept waiting. Next thing I know a half hour later the guys come back, hand me the key, and then walk off. It was the weirdest experience ever, and it left me wondering how safe this place really was. But my friend and I needed a place to sleep, so up the five flights of stairs we walked.

What met our eyes was one of the most charming apartments I had ever seen. It was stereotypical French, complete with a clear view of the Eiffel Tower. Even with all of the commotion, I had done it. I had prepared for something, and gotten it right, albeit with a lot of anxiety and worry. I was not prepared for this type of situation. I was not prepared for this “experience,” and I don’t know if anything could have prepared me. That’s the thing about GTL though; just when you think you’ve seen it all–the horrifying thermo tests, the spill of toxic liquids in chem lab, the 90 degree plus heat of Atlanta–Tech likes to show you that you haven’t!  

Fortunately for myself, the rigorous planning and ensuing worrying died down at the end of the trip. If one hasn’t noticed, I am not a go with the flow kind of person. I plan everything by the minute and then have two backup plans. By the time my last trip came around, Grindelwald, Switzerland, I couldn’t plan any longer. I was tired, so about all I did was look up some train times and book a hostel.

I remember getting ready to board the train, and Tim saying, “Morgan, one of these trains requires a reservation…”

What left my mouth next was the most un-Morgan-like statement ever heard, “We’ll figure it out Tim.”

And we did. We figured it out as we went, and I left Switzerland with the realization that it was one of the most fun, memorable experiences of GTL yet.

I have the GTL program to thank for these experiences. I was not being hand-held through my trips, or taking easy elective classes. I was essentially being pushed out on my own and given free reign. Of course, there were those times that I wished I had a schedule designed for me on what trains and planes to take or what museums and tourist attractions to see at a particular time instead of Google searching on my iphone at the last minute, but I don’t think I would change any of those experiences- after all they do make the best stories.

Faculty Interview: Professor Simpkins

Professor Christopher Simpkin’s path has taken him from the Air Force to Georgia Tech, and this summer, to Georgia Tech-Lorraine.

MK-SimpkinsWhen I shuffled into my computer science 2316 class on the first day of the summer semester, I was not looking forward to the impending 10 weeks. There are some kids who just get computer science; it just clicks for them, and that’s great. But I am definitely not one of those kids. I am the kid that sits in front of my laptop, staring at the screen for an hour trying to debug code only to find that I named a variable incorrectly (something as simple as “doctors” instead of “doctor”). As you might presume, this does not bode well for my relationship with CS; we are not what you would call “sympatico.” Not to mention, my first ever CS professor’s voice had the same effect on me as Nyquil. It’s safe to say, I was not expecting much for my second CS class.

However, CS 2316 has been a nice surprise for me, not simply because of the topic, data manipulation,  but because of the professor. I mean, having a coding assignment that utilizes the themes and characters from Grey’s Anatomy is pretty awesome. Not to mention, having a student do a public dance in front of the class as punishment because his phone went off is hysterically entertaining.

Just recently, I decided it was time to sit down and talk to the professor who was responsible for my slowly improving relationship with computer science: Christopher Simpkins. I was able to learn how he got started in in the field, and believe me, it is pretty interesting… and a little unexpected.  

Professor Simpkins did not begin his career in computer science; actually, he began his career in the air force, attending the Air Force Academy. Clearly, this was quite a switch, a pilot to a computer science professor. He always knew that he wanted to go into a technical field though. Originally he thought he would end up somewhere like MIT or some other tech school, but when he and his father, a member of the air force himself, were watching an Air Force football game one day, he was asked the question if he had ever thought of attending the Air Force Academy.

That question started a long and tedious two year process of applying to the academy, which Simpkins was later accepted into. Realizing that it was the highest honor, he decided to attend the school and major in engineering.

After completing his academics, Simpkins began flying tankers, and even became the designated computer guru for his squadron. While he had originally planned to do a crossflow program to transition into being a fighter pilot, he soon realized that the air force life was not well suited for families. Having two small children, he wanted to be an involved father, so he switched his career path towards software engineering in Atlanta.

Still, having taught in the Air Force, Simpkins knew that his passion was in teaching, so he decided to go into academia. That’s when Simpkins found Georgia Tech. A great location, advanced engineers, and a high-class university, Georgia Tech became his new end goal. His experience with Georgia Tech graduates in the Air Force had provided him with a good idea of the type of people at Georgia Tech, and fortunately his expectations did not disappoint him when he became a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Now, Simpkins is a computer science professor for one of the top universities in the country in his field. Just like that, he made the switch from the Air Force into academia. Clearly a dedicated and motivated individual, I asked Professor Simpkins for any advice he could give to students at Georgia Tech Lorraine:

“Pace yourself with the travel. You’re taking real classes; you have a real Georgia Tech workload. Travel is like another class.”

For Simpkins, he suggests spending those few two day weekends exploring Metz, catching up on sleep, and getting some studying done. He also suggests taking advantage of the small class sizes, i.e., “take advantage of the access to professors.” Office hours is one of his own biggest tools in teaching his students. There have been many a day when I have attended Professor SImpkins office hours, and soon enough it is like another small lecture class with multiple students asking questions and example problems ensuing. I can definitely say that taking his advice is worthwhile.

While Professor Simpkins loves teaching, he still takes time to travel on the weekends with his family who are spending the summer in Metz with him. A highlight of his trip was seeing the Paris Opera Ballet perform, Giselle. His wife, a former professional ballerina, loves Giselle and has clearly passed on her passion for the arts to her husband. I am sure that it was a nice break from the tedious grading of my CS class’ homework assignments (although I am pretty sure he has written code that basically performs the grading for him).

All in all, it’s pretty neat to know that Georgia Tech is enabling its students to learn from such interesting faculty members as Professor Simpkins. Now, if only I could learn how to fit all of my homework, studying, sleep time, cooking time, and traveling into one twenty four hour day.  

Prague, take two!

Revisiting a place you’ve been before can often be more relaxing than the first time around.

Last weekend when I sat down to figure out where I would go, I decided to revisit Prague. The city itself is amazingly beautiful and full of historical sites and attractions. While on the one hand I would like to travel to a new place every weekend, there were just too many places that I didn’t get to see during my last short visit. I also had a group of friends who were going to Prague that same weekend as well.

In my last blog post about Prague, I described how every place I traveled to in the city there were musicians. This hadn’t changed, and while last time I spent a lot of time wandering around the city, this time I had a plan and a list of places to visit.

On the top of my list was to visit the Clementinum which houses the National Library of the Czech Republic. It was also used as an astrological tower.


The library features bookcases from celling to floor, and a flat celling that is painted in such a way that it appears as if it is a vaulted ceiling.

I also got the opportunity to go to the chocolate museum and finally got a change to peruse the bohemian crystal shops and open markets in Prague.

I got many souvenirs for my family back home, and I really enjoyed shopping with friends while taking in the views of Prague.

Overall it was a relaxing weekend, without the rush that comes with squeezing in as many things into a single weekend. I truly recommend it, I needed a break but I didn’t want to sit in the dorms and this was a perfect way to have the best of both worlds.


Finals Week

Finals week at GTL can be just as stressful as in Atlanta, but somehow there are more smiling faces here in Metz.

Posted by Morgan


Finals week: the dreaded experience of taking tests students spent way too long studying for; zombie like students roam the halls; witnesses have reported seeing students collapse after testing.

This definition is a universal definition for most colleges, and a definition that I am sure Georgia Tech students know all too well.  So I am sure you’re wondering, how does it change for the study abroad experience?

Well, the experience here is still just as stressful and exhausting, but somehow I seem to see many more smiles at the GTL lounge this week than I did at the CULC, the major study spot in Atlanta, during finals week. Maybe it is because everyone is still on the travel high. Maybe it is because everyone is excited that it is almost time to go home. Or maybe it is just because of the small, tight knit community here at GTL.

As I wander through the lounge, content with the fact that I only have my French final to prepare for, I see laughing faces and group discussions. I wave to my friends and stop to say hi to some people. It’s a small and tight knit atmosphere, an atmosphere not easily found on the Atlanta campus.

Those who are not studying for their finals are either taking a break playing ping pong or working on group projects. Due to time crunches, final projects are a common replacement for final exams here at GTL which I can safely say is not necessarily better, just a trade off. Other students munch on their PAULS lunches, provided by the GTL staff to help us get through this tiring week.

Nonetheless, everyone is busy studying here. Many people actually refrained from traveling this past weekend to continue studying for their difficult exams, so it’s pretty clear that finals week is not all that different at GTL. Just maybe a smaller group of people still suffering through the miserable test week with some good friends. 


Undergraduate Research Student: Sarah Selim

Meet a student who managed to bend the rules a bit, landing herself an undergraduate research gig.

Posted by Morgan

MK-Selim2Studying abroad is hard for engineering students: the classes, the rigor, the balance with travel. At times it may seem that a Georgia Tech engineering student will never gain that exciting abroad experience. This is not the case for Sarah Selim though. A rising 3rd year in mechanical engineering, she always knew she wanted the study abroad experience, but she also knew that she wanted the undergraduate research experience as well. Fortunately, she found the answer in GTL.

For myself, I did not even know that undergraduate research existed at GTL. I figured that my only option was to come to Metz, take a couple classes, and spend my weekends traveling. The same was true for Sarah. But Sarah knew that she wanted to find a work abroad program for the summer and that the paperwork hassles that come along with working abroad are not exactly appealing, so she did a little digging into the research opportunities at GTL. While Sarah was aware that the research opportunities at GTL are usually only available for graduate students, she had the drive to convince them otherwise.

At first, she wasn’t sure if any professor would let her come work at GTL, but after multiple emails to different professors and GTL administration, she finally found a professor that was eager and willing to let her participate in undergraduate research. What a typical tech student- ambitious and motivated!

While her weekends do not fall on the same days as most GTL students (she only gets two day weekends and one three day weekend a month), she finds solace in the type of work she gets to take part in each day. Her project involves robotics research called non-destructive testing which uses a robot that moves along metal surfaces to detect if the surfaces have any defects. Most of her day to day work consists of cad modeling for the project, and because she works with three other graduate students, she is able to get feedback when needed.

So far, Sarah is loving her undergraduate research experience. She has hands on work in her chosen field which provides her with great experience for future endeavors. Sarah also mentioned the balance she receives as a result of working at GTL. She is able to work inside of her comfort zone, being surrounded by Georgia Tech students and faculty, but still be pushed a bit outside of her comfort zone while working in a foreign country, France. After talking with Sarah, it’s safe to say that I am a little jealous. While I’m taking tests on the different forms of “to have” in French, she gets to play with robots all day in the lab.

You might be wondering what kind of travel experience one can get while working abroad. Does one even get to travel? While Sarah’s busy schedule is definitely difficult to coordinate with her friends who are taking classes, she still manages to take short weekend trips and make the most of her time.

Her favorite place so far was Barcelona, mostly due to the fact that Gaudi’s stunning MK-Selim1architecture fills the city. While I find Gaudi’s work to be overt and eccentric, Sarah loved his style; “he created floors that weren’t even flat and he just kind of went for it!”. I might not understand Gaudi, but I understand why Sarah loves him so much. He took risks, was ambitious, and broke the mold, just as Sarah took a chance in searching out her undergraduate research at GTL. Well, clearly it paid off – for both Gaudi and Sarah.

The Studying in Study Abroad

Even the most energetic of Georgia Tech-Lorraine students will need to eventually take break to recharge their batteries.

With all of this traveling, it is easy to forget the reason why we are in France sometimes: to further our education. Rather, we forget the labors of studying and replace that spot in our mind with our dream travel destinations: Zurich, Berlin, Naples, Budapest, London. But then test week comes around, and we are quickly slapped back into reality.

This upcoming week is test week for most students at GTL, and I can say with absolute clarity that I am feeling that sharp sting of reality. Of course, I have stayed focused in my classes; I will even go so far to say that I thoroughly enjoy my classes, but that does not mean I have spent my weekends preparing myself for the Georgia Tech-level tests that are impending. So while I wanted to spend this two-day weekend in Bruges, Belgium, friends and I decided it might be better to stay in Metz for the weekend to prepare for the upcoming hell-week, and boy am I glad that I did.

I spent Friday catching up on sleep. Like most of my GTL experience so far, I did not plan this. I planned to study vigorously, but with traveling every weekend I was exhausted. My meager attempts at studying became simply futile because I was so run down. I needed a break.

After a nap, some of us went to CORA, the Walmart of France, to pick up some food for a family dinner. We cooked some hamburgers in the kitchen together and had a fresh fruit salad! It was easy and delicious. Finally, we finished the night off with a freshly baked strawberry tarte and then we hit the hay!

Thankfully, I was feeling refreshed Saturday morning after a very, very, very, long, deep sleep and was able to get some studying in. I worked with my friend Mirna in preparing for our Industrial Engineering test, but of course we had to have a little bit of fun, especially seeing MK-StudyLux1as it was Tim’s birthday! Next thing you know, a group of us pulled out Eurail train passes, hopped on the train to Luxembourg, and prepared to divulge into some delicious Mexican food at a popular restaurant. It was a perfect way to celebrate Tim’s birthday and take a break from studying (even though Briana brought her notes with her on the train). The meal was delicious. While we all love the fresh baguettes and artisan cheeses here in Metz, we have missed the amazing Mexican food that we are spoiled with in Atlanta.

That is the wonderful thing about Luxembourg. It’s not the most interesting place to travel to-at least in my opinion-but there is an aura of comfort and familiarity. You can hop on a train and in 45 minutes you are watching Finding Dory in English, doing a little shopping at American stores, or like us, devouring tasty Mexican food.

This weekend, while anti-climactic, was a much needed, relaxing time. Taking that breath, that break from adventure, made me realize that you can’t do it all! Sometimes you have to take a step back and realize why you are at GTL in the first place: to study. If there is any advice can give to future GTL students, it is to plan breaks every now and then! I have already started seeing students start dropping like flies from their run down immune systems, and let me tell you, the last thing you want is to be underprepared, sick, and asleep during a Thermo Exam.

Making Your Way to the Airport

Looking for ways to get to the airport from Georgia Tech-Lorraine.

As the semester begins to wrap up it is now the time to figure out how to make it to the airport to return home. Georgia Tech-Lorraine provides shuttles from our campus to the airport if there are enough students going to a particular airport, but this isn’t guaranteed. The Brussels airport and Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris typically have shuttle service provided.

What is one to do if there isn’t shuttle service provided? Well the first thing that you need to worry about is getting to the city where your flight leaves from. So if you are leaving out of Luxembourg Airport at 8 am, you should try to get to the city a couple  of hours before your flight, allowing an hour to get from the city-proper to the airport.

One way to get to the airport is to take a train. We have been taking trains all summer so this should feel like an old hat at this point. After you are in the destination city, give yourself an hour or so to get from the train station to the airport. You can take a bus or a metro is one is available. In Paris I find that the metro is the fastest option, but in Luxembourg you will have to take a bus.

But what if you cannot get the train reservation you want or there aren’t any trains that get you there early enough? You have the option to get to the city a day early and stay at a hostel until the next day, but that isn’t always ideal.

Another method is to take a shuttle from Metz to the airport directly. Flibco is a shuttle service that will pick you up near the train station and drive you to many predetermined airports. I personally have taken Flibco from Metz to Luxembourg airport, and when you buy your tickets early enough it is really cheap — my ticket was only 5€. The only issue with this is that the shuttles can run at odd hours. For instance, my shuttle left Metz at 2 am on a Sunday, and the buses don’t run that late, so I just took a taxi.

This information is helpful for most people for the return trip home, but it also applies for any planes that you are trying to catch during the summer.

To Beach or not to Beach?

Sometimes unexpected destinations end up being the most magical.

MK-Lagos2Posted by Morgan

My mom loves telling the story of my first time at the beach. As she tells it, she was stranded with two little toddlers, my older sister and myself, a few oversized coolers, and 4 unnecessary beach chairs while my dad casually went to go park the car. Meanwhile, my sister was running around in panic for fear that crabs would come snap off her toes, and I was apparently terrified of the sand, crying my head off anytime my feet touched the ground. To this day my family has never really been a beach vacation kind of family, and I have yet to outgrow my fear of sand.

Perhaps this is why I was wary of a weekend trip to Lagos, a city on the coast of Portugal. My friend, Brianna, had found the destination earlier on in the spring and had showed us beautiful photos of beaches, caves and stunning rock formations. Mirna was enthralled, quickly saying yes to this destination. I needed a little more convincing though. I didn’t want to waste a weekend lying on the beach, but when they showed me a plan of hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling, I decided, why not? I’ve never really done anything like this before and I am always saying that I want to try something new.

So I booked a plane ticket.

Thank goodness I did because I could not have been more impressed with Lagos. It was stunning. Breathtaking. Magical.

Our 3 hour kayaking trip was the highlight. Leading us around the coastline, our guide took us in and out of the caves and past the beautiful cliffs. I was mesmerized by the natural beauty of the area. How could some place be so perfect? How was it that I was here? It was almost unreal, and I had to take the time to soak it all in.

The three hour tour also gave us time to make a new friend, Lars, a student about our age from Germany who was traveling around for a few weeks before heading back to his internship. We conversed for a while on our journey, discussing our schools and cultures, before finally parting ways at the end.

After the very long kayaking trip, it was clear that Mirna, Brianna, and I needed a break…a really, really long break with lots of food and ice cold water and maybe even some ice-cream. As we made our way through the center of town, we took our time to stop and scour the menus for the best price and best looking food. We ended up choosing a traditional Portuguese restaurant and resting our feet for a while.

Standing up to leave, content with our meals and now satisfyingly refreshed, we bumped into our new friend, Lars. Talking for a while, we made plans to meet up later that night to watch the euro cup match, Italy vs Germany. But first, we decided to head back to our bed and breakfast, a ten minute drive out of town, to freshen up and take a quick nap. While the location of our bed and breakfast was inconvenient, it was also beautiful.  Located on a vineyard, complete with a personal balcony, it was the perfect place to sit back, take a nap, and relax before heading back out to meet up with Lars.

Once we were all ready, we began our journey back into town. We met up with Lars in a bar, where it was packed so tightly we could barely see the tv let alone breathe. It was fun though! I ended up cheering on Germany with Lars and even making some new friends from London who cheered along with us. When it came down to the penalty shootout, things got interesting. Some people were shouting for Italy and some people were shouting for Germany, but when Germany finally won, the bar went wild. It was an amazing experience and something truly unique to the culture of Europe.

The following day was not so enjoyable. Being my stupid self I had forgotten to put sunscreen on my feet the day before, and, seeing as I was sitting in kayak for three hours with the sun beating down directly on my feet, I got burned. I got burned badly. My feet were bright red and swollen the next day. I had tried to go out into town and do some things with my friends but it was painful. One woman even came up to me and offered me sunscreen.

It was a hard decision, but I decided that I needed to go back to the bed and breakfast and rest my feet while Brianna and Mirna explored. I was surprised to discover as I lied  there in bed that I wasn’t too upset with this. It might have been dull, but I got some rest, took some ibprofen,  applied some aloe, and enjoyed the picturesque views of Portugal from my window.

By the time dinner came, I was feeling better and ready to head out again with Mirna and Brianna. We grabbed some food and then walked to the beach to look at the stars. It was a sight I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

Growing up close to Philadelphia, I was never really able to see the stars. Not much changed when I came to Tech in Atlanta. But here, in Lagos, lying on the beach, the stars were shining bright above us. While it was a simple experience, lying on the beach watching the stars, it somehow managed to put me at ease, something I never thought possible while lying on the sand (I’m not really a fan of the beach don’t forget). Maybe the beach wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe even my family could be a beach family…or at least we could be a beach family when it comes to Lagos.

RA Profile: Jonathan Gosyne

RA, Jonathan Gosyne, advises future RA’s to make the effort to build rapport with students.

Posted by Lindsay

Jonathan Gosyne
Jonathan Gosyne

Name: Jonathan Gosyne

Major/Field of Study: ME

Year in undergraduate: 4th year

Other Universities: Presentation College, Chaguanas, in Trinidad & Tobago, where he completed the equivalent of an associates degree


Favorite Quote: “As each has been given a gift, use it to serve one another”

Favorite Song: “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra

Interests and Hobbies: Learning and playing musical instruments and how they can express different cultures, as well as taking road trips and traveling

Why GTL?: GTL had all the courses that he needed to take for the summer, and it had the added bonus of being abroad.

Favorite Part of GTL: The company – the students here are fun to talk to and travel with

What dorm do RA for?: RA for Lafayette

RA Experience: Was an RA for two years at Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus at Crecine. Also was a prefect (similar to a daytime RA) at his old university

Recommendations to other RA’s coming to GTL: Understand that you don’t know the culture and don’t be afraid to ask for help from the SA’s because they know the culture. Build rapport with the students. Be polite and manage your time well.

Recommendations to future GTL students: Know that your plans will change and fall through, and don’t let this bother you too much. Do non-touristy things as well as the major tourist attractions and be open to suggestions. Try to make an effort to learn some phrases in the native language of the countries that you are visiting.

Any places that you didn’t visit, that you would like to visit in the future?: Ireland and Scandinavia

Will you do another study abroad?: Maybe one of the master’s program study abroads in South England

What’s Next?: Firming up plans about completing a masters. He has two more semesters before he graduates in May 2017


The Euro Cup Mania

Sure, traveling all over Europe is great, but sometimes the most memorable experiences can be had right in downtown Metz!

Posted by Morgan

Note: this was written before the finals of the Euro Cup.


Football, the people’s favorite sport– the sport that causes fans to rally together chanting sometimes obscene statements–the sport that convinces men and women to cover their faces in paint, their bodies in colorful sports clothing, and their hands in foam fingers–the sport that brings people together with little in common except for their love of football. I am not talking about American football though. I am talking about European football, about soccer, the world’s favorite sport.

In America, soccer is not the most popular sport. While we do have the best women’s national team in the world, our men’s team is seriously lacking in talent- at least in comparison to most European teams- and consumerist America simply prefers watching a sport where commercials play every 5 minutes instead of an intense atmosphere of nonstop 45 minute halves. As result, when tournaments such as the World Cup, the Euro Cup, or even the CONCACAF Cup air on TV, most of America just changes the channel. The same cannot be said for Europe.

GTL students were fortunate enough to experience this part of European culture this summer as this year was the Euro Cup, a popular soccer tournament that is held every 4 years and is being hosted in France this year. While back in America, citizens are eagerly anticipating the Olympics, Europeans couldn’t care less about the Olympics. Their eyes are all on soccer.

This past week was a monumental game for France; the semifinals against Germany which determined whether or not France would move on in pursuit of the coveted Euro Cup trophy. Like any soccer fan, I dragged my friends with me to downtown Metz to watch the game on television. They obliged and made the journey with me into town. Nothing prepared them for what they were about to witness though. The squares were piled with people, pushing their way through crowds to get the best view of the TVs which lined the streets outside of bars and cafes. People’s faces were painted with the French flag; children were dressed in crazy red wigs in support of France; and just about every man had one oversized beer in his hand. It was a crazy atmosphere.

The game itself was enjoyable. While my eyes were glued to the television at every point in time, I somehow managed to miss both French goals in those rare moments I would turn to speak to a friend. Of course, we all knew what had happened as the crowds went wild, screaming, jumping, pushing, singing.

I was somewhat disappointed during the game though. I guess I forgot to mention that I was rooting for the enemy–Germany. The fact that Schweinsteiger and Mueller, two fantastic German players, were not able to help score against the MK-EuroCup2French made me very annoyed. Not to mention that Germany had possession of the ball the majority of the game! I had to hide this annoyance as best as possible from the French though for fear of being attacked by some of those crazy fans.

The final result: France won. While I myself was upset with the outcome, the rest of the country was ecstatic. Metz went crazy. People started setting off fireworks, dancing in circles, singing songs, breathing fire, shaking police vehicles that lined the streets. It was quite the sight.

As one friend of mine put it, “This would never happen in America.”

And that’s the truth. Even when a particular team wins the Super Bowl, crowds do not rush the streets setting off fireworks or shaking police vehicles. People would be arrested. But in France, in Europe, they do. It is a national sport, a national emblem for a country, and we were able to experience this joyous moment with the French people. It’s an experience I will never forget. Sure traveling to Italy and England is awesome, but this was an unmatched experience — not related to a travel destination — that I will most likely not have again.

While the night was late and long, I was glad to be able to see such a sight. The next day of class might have been rough, but when I entered my Industrial Engineering class the following morning, I noticed the heavy eyes of my IE professor.

“So, what did you guys think of the game?,” asked my professor.

Well, clearly I wasn’t the only one who thought a little less sleep was worth it to see France win.